OPSM is taking steps to enhance patient care through multidisciplinary collaboration facilitated by the roll out of the well-known referral platform, Oculo.
By the end of 2019, approximately 400 OPSM practices across Australia and New Zealand, along with their patients, will be benefiting from the roll out of Oculo.
One of our core pillars is to deliver premium clinical care – Oculo allows us to do this by improving holistic care and health outcomes for our patients with chronic disease
The innovative cloud based platform connects health care professionals to facilitate the secure, instant transfer of clinical imaging, referrals, and other clinical correspondence securely and instantly.
Peter Murphy, Director for eye care at OPSM said, “In partnership with Oculo, we are raising the bar when it comes to inter-professional communication and co-management of our customers… Oculo is transforming collaborative care through innovation,” he said.
Optometrist Bansri Shah was one of the first OPSM stores to have Oculo up and running. She said the platform is easy to use and convenient, being accessible from any digital device in store or at home. Importantly, she said, it has quickly made a significant difference to the level of patient care she is able to offer from her OPSM Karrinyup practice.
“Recently I was able to expedite an urgent referral using Oculo. The ophthalmologist was able to assess the case with all the clinical details available and the GP was kept in the loop,” she explained.
A SECURE PLATFORM
Patient privacy is a hot topic right now, especially following the introduction of the notifiable data breaches scheme in 2018.1 Using banking-grade encryption and audit-trails, Oculo enables optometrists, ophthalmologists and other allied health care providers to communicate efficiently with several stakeholders, all the while safeguarding patient privacy.
Patient information is securely stored in the cloud and easy to access at any time via a secure log-in. Because data is stored in one place, it is unlikely to become lost and referrals are more likely to be actioned in a timely fashion.
Graham Candy, optometrist at OPSM Midland Gate, was given early access to Oculo as part of a pilot run last year in Western Australia. He said the secure platform made a “massive difference” to his workflow.
“Having access to a secure and professional way to efficiently communicate with ophthalmologists and GPs has made a significant difference to my productivity in store. Referrals can be quickly sent, and responses accessed with ease. The time saved with referrals has been enormous and the ability to send images to ophthalmologists has been a welcome change to the old system of paper/faxed referrals.”
Importantly when it comes to efficiency, Mr Candy added, “Adjusting to Oculo was easy and within the first day of use it was saving me so much time. Writing referrals is no longer a tedious task”.
AN INCREASINGLY CONNECTED WORLD
According to Mr Murphy, health care practitioners across various disciplines are now able to achieve more, thanks to our increasingly connected world.
“One of our core pillars is to deliver premium clinical care – Oculo allows us to do this by improving holistic care and health outcomes for our patients with chronic disease.”
He said patients with diseases such as diabetes – the nation’s leading cause of blindness in working age adults – will particularly benefit from the enhanced level of care that Oculo facilitates.
According to Diabetes Australia, around 630,000 Australians with diabetes are at risk of vision loss or blindness because they are not getting their eyes checked regularly.2
“Statistics of this magnitude acutely highlight the need for best practice when it comes to seamless communication within a multi-disciplinary environment,” said Mr Murphy.
“Our recent investment into Oculo enables us to provide best practice care for patients with diabetes, in collaboration with local GPs and other medical professionals.
“It ensures every communication is standardised and contains relevant information. It also enables any electronic communication to be sent to multiple recipients, giving greater visibility to all parties.”
Importantly, Oculo also enables optometrists to register patients with diabetes with KeepSight, a new program designed to make it easier for people with diabetes to remember to get their eyes checked.
KeepSight is just one of many support programs that OPSM optometrists are encouraging patients to take advantage of, in an effort to optimise their eye health.
“Through our partnerships with Glaucoma Australia and Macular Disease Foundation Australia, patients with glaucoma and macular diseases are able to access rich support on an ongoing basis,” said Mr Murphy. “We also provide all of our optometrists across the group with a collaboratecare pack, designed to make it easier for optometrists and GPs to build new synergies and partnerships.
“For us, this investment in holistic patient care is enabling us to make headway on our mission to ‘help people be more, see more and live life to the fullest’,” he said.
- www.oaic.gov.au/media-and-speeches/media-releases/ mandatory-data-breach-notification-comes-into-force-thisthursday